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UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday warned there are signs of a “second wave” of Covid-19 in Europe, while he defended the government’s to impose a 14-day quarantine on everyone coming from Spain.

Johnson said the government had to be “swift” – and it would continue to take further action “where it is necessary”, the BBC reported.

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He said if the UK did see signs of a second wave in other countries, it was the government’s duty to stop travellers returning and spreading the disease.

The response from the Prime Minister comes after the Spanish prime minister called the UK’s decision to change the rules for Spain “unjust”.

In an interview with the Telecinco TV network, Sanchez said his government was “talking with British authorities to try to get them to reconsider” the decision, the BBC reported.

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson, left with Darren Henry the Conservative MP for Broxtowe, at the Canal Side Heritage Centre in Beeston near Nottingham, England, the government is launching a new cycling intuitive to help get people fitter Picture by Andrew Parsons / No 10 Downing Street

The UK had made an “error” by considering the infection rate for the whole country, he said.

Sanchez added that “64.5 per cent of the new cases registered are in two territories” and in most of Spain the prevalence of COVID-19 was “very much inferior to the numbers registered in the UK”.

The rate of infection in Spain is 35.1 cases per 100,000 people, while the UK is at 14.7, according to the latest figures from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.

On July 25, the UK government announced that travellers arriving from Spain must now quarantine for 14 days, under new coronavirus travel rules following a spike in COVID-19 cases in the European country.

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson visits Tollgate Medical Centre in East London. Picture by Andrew Parsons / No 10 Downing Street

According to the rules, quarantine measures apply to those returning from mainland Spain, the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands, such as Majorca and Ibiza.

On Monday, the Foreign Office also extended its travel advice for Spain, now telling people to avoid non-essential journeys to the Canary and Balearic Islands, as well as mainland Spain.

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